TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It’s likely you or someone you know has a hard time hearing. One in seveb American adults report some type of hearing loss. Now, a new law could make hearing aids cheaper.
Companies are scrambling to create over the counter hearing aids, after congress passed a law to make them more accessible and affordable. Belinda Gonzales with NuSound hearing center in Topeka said cost and accessibility is not an issue.
“Open up any newspaper, drive through town you can see that hearing aids are accessible. That’s not a problem,” Gonzales said. “You can get hearing aids as low as $399. For a digital device, somewhere in that $900 range. Anywhere you go they’re going to have those options for you.”
Right now devices called PSAPs are available in stores everywhere for about $20, with a purpose of fluctuating the volume. Hearing aids are prescribed by a doctor and programmed to each individual — so they can hear crisp, clear speech. Over-the-counter hearing aids would fall somewhere in between.
“These companies are now seeing they can now penetrate the market a little bit deeper and maybe line their pockets just a little bit more,” Gonzales remarked.
A benefit of the new law could mean more people are open to treatment. Hearing experts say, it’s not something you should seek out by yourself.
“My biggest concern is that they’re actually diagnosing themselves. Many hearing losses can actually be corrected because there’s a medical issue,” said Gonzales. “Maybe they have a proliferated eardrum, maybe they have impacted ear wax. They don’t even need a hearing device. So please,before you put any type of device in your ear see a licensed professional.”
Regardless of the device Gonzales says, getting evaluated is a process, but crucial.
Over-the-counter hearing aids will hit the market sometime in the next three years.